There are few films as iconic as the 1980 film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining. Stanley Kubrick brought to life a setting that was as much a character as the living beings that stayed at the hotel—and the many that never left. So when it was announced that there would be a new spinoff series called Overlook— undeniably a direct reference to the hotel itself, the Overlook Hotel—fans from across genres took notice.
Though many are left wondering: How will Overlook compare to Doctor Sleep and the classic film itself? And what might we see in the spinoff? Here's everything we know so far.
Who is involved in the creation of the series?
HBO Max will be anchoring the series, where it will be airing exclusively when it is released. The J.J. Abrams production company, Bad Robot— founded nearly 20 years ago by Abrams to create now classic tentpole series like Lost and Lovecraft Country—will be producing the series. It’s still early, but reports suggest that the producers behind Castle Rock, Dustin Thomason and Scott Brown, are currently in negotiations on who will be writing for the series. It’s safe to say that both of them will be picking up the pen in some capacity to help plot out the series.
What is it about and how many episodes will there be?
We know Overlook will be a prequel to the original film, but details have yet to be released about key specifics. The series is being pitched as a horror-thriller made to feature many of the iconic characters from the film. Could we see a return of Jack Torrance and his family? Perhaps we will encounter some of the memorable ghosts and hauntings from the hotel. Whatever the writers have in store, the series is projected to consist of 10 episodes.
Word has it the narrative approach of the series will be similar to Bates Motel. If you recall the series, it took the setting of the iconic thriller Psycho, particularly Norman Bates and his mother, and expanded the events that transpired before the film. This means Overlook could very well be expansive, allotting for favorite characters and scenes to be viewed from a new light, perhaps from a different POV. The thought of learning more about the rich, haunting history of the hotel is enough to get most fans excited!
What happened to the Overlook Hotel film?
Remember the 2019 film adaptation of Doctor Sleep, which was a direct sequel to The Shining? Neither do I. This is perhaps one of the main culprits to the shelving of the would-be Overlook Hotel film. Even though Doctor Sleep was highly anticipated, when it arrived in theaters, people seemingly looked away. Director Mark Romanek was slated to direct the film version of Overlook Hotel, and had been vocal about his enthusiasm for the project. After that, there was really nothing to report until the announcement of the series. It might be time to consider the film (at least until the series debuts) dead.
Will Stephen King be involved?
The answer is yes! But does anyone know how he will take part? No! At least not yet. He could act as an executive producer, or fans might luck out and he’ll step into the writer’s room and help with the creation. It is simply too early to know. We suspect even King himself is in the early stages of planning the level of his involvement.
Featured still of "The Shining" via Warner Bros.